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Columbia Missourian

Margarita Micaela Lopez loved living by the sea

By Atiya Abbas
August 30, 2013 | 9:50 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The young Margarita Micaela Lopez loved skipping along the shore. Nothing delighted her more than finding pretty seashells, perhaps because their soft beauty reminded her of a time when life was slow and innocent.

Sadly, it was her memory that would be ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.

“She was the quiet one," her son, Ruben Lopez Jr., said. “While my uncle raised hell, my mother was content to be by herself."

Margarita Lopez of Columbia died Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. She was 78.

She was born on Oct. 8, 1934, to Esteban Hernandez and Victoria Torrientes in Cienfuegos, Cuba, where she spent her summers by the islands, fishing and swimming.

She met the man who would be her husband, Ruben Lopez, in the 1950s.

"They had the 1950s version of dating, which was my paternal grandmother chaperoning them at the park,"  Lopez Jr. said with a smile. 

They married in the 1960s.

During the communist rule of Fidel Castro, Mrs. Lopez and her husband migrated to Spain with their three children: Ruben, Diana and Esther. After seven months in Madrid, the family moved to the United States. Mrs. Lopez and her husband moved to Columbia in 1999.

"She made the most of life even though in Cuba there was theater and dancing, and she had left all of that behind for a quiet life in the States," Lopez Jr. said. "But we took vacations every time, to Panama City Beach, Florida Panhandle."

"She just loved the ocean," her daughter Diana Lopez interjected. "And living by it made her happy."

Mrs. Lopez is survived by her husband; her brother, Esteban Hernandez of Miami, Fla.; son Ruben and his wife, Regiena Lopez; daughter Esther Borner and her son-in-law, William Borner Sr.; daughter Diana Lopez; and grandchildren Micaela, Gabriella, Alexandra and Olivia Lopez of Columbia and William Jr. and Anna Borner of St. Louis.

A celebration of Mrs. Lopez's life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Fairview Road Community of Christ, 1111 Fairview Road.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Mid-Missouri Chapter, 2400 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.